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Contents Business 10 First Word
buy five ISSUES get ONE FREE
CEOs share the secret to success
13 Islamic Banking
Shariah stocks rise in popularity
Mining companies target ME investors
Financing green energy
19 Tax Holiday
Benefits for Canadian immigrants
20 Family Businesses
Lebanese family businesses under threat
Private jet travel gets a boost
Life coaching for business leaders
26 Boomtown Fujeirah The region’s new trade hub
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4 GC March / April 2012
28 Business profile
Kamal Mouzawak’s organic business
30 Immigrant Investor
Ireland launches new programme
32 Coffee at the Capital Club
Shyam Bhatia gets Mother Teresa Award
ART Special report 34 The Influencers
The people shaping the art world
52 Value of the Art Market The Middle East gains traction
56 Art Neighbourhoods Dubai’s art destinations
58 Art Dubai Preview
A preview of what to watch for
59 A guide to buying art Tips from Bashar Al Shroogi
60 State of Art
Qatar’s world class museums
62 Talking Art
Shumon Basar’s thoughts on Dubai
Lifestyle 65 Gadgets & Gizmos
The latest: TV’s, bikes and more
A conversation with Richard Mille
A solar powered boat
70 The Key Ingredients
Chef reinvigorates the Capital Club
72 More Than Just a MaiD Five star housekeeping for VIPs
74 Istanbul Cuisine
A revival of Ottoman empire cuisine
Bespoke shoe repair in DIFC
78 Fashion on the Field
What to wear at the World Cup
March / April 2012 GC 5
Dubai Rodeo Drive: Dubai Mall - Mall of the Emirates - Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Abu Dhabi Rodeo Drive: Marina Mall
Enter the Art World
From the swell of new art galleries in Dubai to the architecturally eye popping museums in Doha, the artistic momentum sweeping the region is contagious. Global Citizen’s Special Report on Art is our 32-page homage to this exciting movement. In our cover story, The Influencers, (pg. 34) we profile 18 people, from artists to gallerists, collectors and
critics, who have been the driving force putting the region on the international art world map. Like all lists, ours-compiled through consultations with key art world stakeholders-is subjective. We aimed to keep it broad to reflect the diversity of people involved in art. There are countless others not featured who work tirelessly to elevate the art world. We hope these profiles inspire conversations, explorations and engagement with the people and places making art news. Also in our special report, don’t miss New York Time’s contributor, Sara Hamdan’s, story The Value of the Middle East Art Market (pg. 52). We also bring you tips on buying art from Bashar Al Shroogi, one of the region’s preeminent collectors and consultants. Beyond art, this issue of Global Citizen has some exciting new features. In the First Word we will share perspectives from the region’s top business leaders and executives. We profile Lebanese entrepreneur Kamal Mouzawak (pg. 28)
who has pioneered a socially conscious food business under the slogan “make food, not war.” In the first of our new series, Coffee at the Capital Club, (pg. 32) we share the inspiring story of Shyam Bhatia, a Dubai based businessman who will receive The Mother Teresa Award for his philanthropic work with his charity, Cricket for Care. We hope you enjoy this issue and as always, welcome your feedback and ideas.
RITU UPADHYAY Editorial Director WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU Letters to the editor can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org Follow us on facebook for regular updates on the latest issues and post reader feedback: www.facebook.com/GlobalCitizenMag
Global Citizen Registered at Dubai Media City, PO Box 502068, Dubai, UAE
Reach media CEO Armand Peponnet editorial DIRECTOR Ritu Upadhyay editor Natasha Tourish - email@example.com ART DIRECTOR Omid Khadem - firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTORS Matt Nash, Matthew Hamilton, Kirsty Savage, Sara Hamdan, Jonathon Savill, Mona Alami, Heba Hashem, Shane Philips, Ivan Vanderhyden, Patricia Andrews, Nausheen Noor Advertising email@example.com SUBSCRIPTION firstname.lastname@example.org Printed by raidy emirates printing group Copyright 2012 Reach Media. All rights reserved. Neither this publication nor any part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the permission of Reach Media Where opinion is expressed it is that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the editorial views of the publisher or Global Citizen. All information in Global Citizen is checked and verified to the best of the publisher’s ability, however the publisher cannot be held responsible for any mistake or omission enclosed in the publication
March / April 2012 GC 7
Sara Hamdan is a Dubai-based stringer for the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times who also regularly contributes to Rolling Stone and Variety. Arabic is one of the four languages she speaks and she has worked in the region for five years – two years as a banker with Merrill Lynch and three in the media industry.
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is an American writer based in Amman, Jordan. His writing has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, The National, and Monocle, among other publications. Before deciding to be a writer, Matthew held a variety of jobs including being a backpacking guide, lifeguard, paralegal, personal assistant, social entrepreneur and baker. He first came to the Middle East fresh out of college to teach Iraqi refugee children in Jordan.
has more than 20 years of journalism experience across the UK, South East Asia and the Middle East. Prior to relocating to Dubai in 2005, he was based in Singapore, where he held the posting of senior producer and correspondent for ESPN’s ‘SportsCenter Asia.’ As a freelance journalist, he contributed regularly to UK publications such as The Mirror, The Express, The Times, The Daily Telegraph and the national Sunday newspapers. Most recently, he was the Public Relations Manager for the Dubai World Trade Centre and now works as a freelance PR, editorial and corporate writer and produces international news and sports television reports based out of Dubai.
Mona Alami is a French journalist, who took to reporting after a management degree and an MBA. Based in Beirut, she travels around the region reporting on business and political affairs from Jordan, the UAE and Syria. She regularly reports in both English and French for IPS (an international newswire), USA Today, Arabian Business, Now Lebanon magazine, L’Expansion, as well as producing documentaries for Al Aan TV. Mona also has a special interest in interviewing and reporting on radical islamist groups.
Matt Nash is a freelance journalist based out of Beirut. Matt writes mostly on politics, business and human rights. He grew up on the south side of Chicago and studied journalism and political science at Milwaukeeâ€™s Marquette University. He has lived in the Middle East since early 2007, when he started working with the Dow Jones news wire. However, it became tedious for him to be writing short business briefs so he moved over to writing longer feature articles and has done so ever since.
As the MENA Regional Practice Leader for Financial Services for Stanton Chase, Shane specializes in delivering strategic leadership talent for wholesale, retail, Investment and universal banks across the GCC. He writes for CEO magazine and has interviewed some of the regionâ€™s top executives. Shane has an MBA from London Business School and a B.A. in Psychology from University of British Columbia. He is a Non-Executive Director of Fortis Plus and a Founding Member and Chairman of Big Brothers Big Sisters International. Previously he was an Executive Director with the Canadian Business Council.
Ivan Vanderhyden is a Captain on the Bombardier Challenger CL604 and CL605 corporate business aircraft. He is also the Executive Director of Business Aviation Concepts, a Dubai based advisory and project development company which caters to both prospective and current owners of private executive aircraft. Ivan is from Montreal and has been a pilot for 18 years. Through his travels around the world, he has now expanded his realm of expertise to include journalism about business and executive aviation.
is a freelance journalist based in Dubai. She is the author of the food blog, Dubai Bites and is a frequent contributor to various publications including BBC Good Food, Esquire, Explorer and Ahlan! Gourmet. Prior to moving to Dubai, she worked in the non-profit management sector in New York. She has a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. in Anthropology and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She is fluent in Bengali, English and French.
March / April 2012 GC 9
P e r s p e c t i v e s f r o m t h e to p
The Secret to Success By Shane Phillips
hen selecting new employees for senior positions, companies tend to put an emphasis on academic pedigree and experience, but sometimes fail to test for the key traits of leadership. What are those qualities? CEOs of the UAE’s top companies share their perspectives with Global Citizen.
Simon Cooper Deputy Chairman & CEO HSBC Middle East and North Africa “Surround yourself with the best teams of people you possibly can. I think the ability to put together teams and then encourage them to work together is what ultimately enables businesses to succeed. It is important, I believe, to remember that any organization must be greater than the individual who runs it. It is important also to ensure that the teams are strong enough to continue beyond any single leader. If I had to single a few out, I think they would be integrity and energy. And, of course, a sense of humour is always important!”
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Michael Tomalin CEO National Bank of Abu Dhabi “It’s that ambition that you want to do something with your life; that you are here on the planet for more than just getting through the 70 or more years of life that has been allotted to you. It’s that inner belief that you are here to leave your mark in one way or another; and that mark can be left in all kinds of ways- by writing a book, painting a picture, running a business, or running a country. I believe that ambition is the key driver that you need.”
Ihsan Jawad CEO & Founder Honey Bee Tech Ventures & Zawya “You need two things: tenacity balanced by flexibility. Tenacity keeps you going, despite people not believing in you when you start. You have to have a very strong belief in your project and be passionate about it. Then when people are offering you the right advice you have to have the flexibility to adjust, while not changing your core. Some things need to be rock solid, that is what you have set out as your mission, the essence of you, the company and the idea; these things must never change. How you execute it, how you go to market, the look and feel; all these things should change in accordance with your environment so you can make it a success.”
Rick Pudner CEO Emirates NBD “Energy, integrity, and empathy with the people you work with. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is also important, IQ alone is not enough. It’s a balancing act. You need a high IQ to operate at a high level but you also need a high EQ to lead people. Energy is a big part of that. It is an interesting mix. Ambition is a given, if you don’t have it then you are not in the game. Integrity is one of the key ingredients you must have. It’s what makes you credible. It is probably the most important attribute to exhibit. You get dedicated followers of your leadership style if they believe in you. You have to walk the talk and exhibit the action you talk about.”
March / April 2012 GC 11
The Big “Sheikh” Up
Image courtesy of Corbis / ArabianEye.com
Shariah compliant stocks rise in popularity.
ccording to writer Nassim Nicholas Taleb, there are two types of businesses: those protected from major surprises and those that can lose everything in a matter of minutes. The income of a dentist, although it can be significant, is unlikely to vary greatly over a given period. However, the income of a bank derivatives trader - and in some cases the income of the whole bank can disappear in a matter of minutes. Taleb, described by The Guardian as the “new sage of Wall Street,” refers to the latter scenario as “negative Black Swans.” Financial history, from the Great Depression in the 1930s, to the Latin American debt crisis of the early 1980s and the Asian financial crisis in 1997, teaches us many lessons about “Black Swan” shocks. As conventional economists go back to the drawing board, proponents of Islamic finance have been sharpening their pencils. Islamic bankers are hoping that the more conservative and ethics-based Islamic stocks and funds industry can tame the “Black Swan.” According to a report by Ernst & Young, the Islamic funds industry is worth $58 billion; with 7.6 percent growth rate in 2010. In addition, February 2012 saw the launch of the Thomson Reuters Crescent Wealth Islamic Australia Index, covering over 140 stocks in the country. The industry is also seeing an expansion and diversification. Tradi-
tionally Islamic scholars have pointed out many non-compliant practices in global companies, which have limited the growth of the industry. However, since around the year 2000, scholars have taken a practical view, with more room for compromise. Identifying ethical investments The process for investing in Shariah stocks is certainly unorthodox, with the initial emphasis placed on the ethics rather than profits. A Shariah portfolio manager firstly investigates the sectors (industry screen) that potentially have a negative impact on society. Conventional banks, insurance companies, tobacco firms, entertainment businesses and weapons manufacturers are all excluded from the portfolio.
cash and interest-bearing securities / trailing 12 month average market capitalization and accounts receivables / trailing 12 month average market capitalization. Companies with ratios of 33% or greater are excluded from the portfolio. To ensure continued compliance to the industry and security screens, a quarterly review of securities is undertaken. Moving into the mainstream Another sure sign that shows the Islamic banking industry is on the rise is the growth in the number of qualifications on Islamic finance and their uptake, with the most recent example being a master’s degree in investment banking and Islamic finance, offered by the University of Reading in the
Traditionally Islamic scholars have pointed out many non-compliant practices in global companies, which have limited the growth of the industry. However, since around the year 2000, scholars have taken a practical view, with more room for compromise. The next step involves a closer look at specific companies (security screen), to ensure that they comply with certain Islamic principles. Scholars at the Dow Jones Indices, one of the leading providers of Islamic market indices, focus on three key ratios: total debt / trailing 12 month average market capitalization, total
UK. Additionally, some of the largest names in Islamic banking are in fact, conventional banks. The likes of HSBC, Standard Chartered and Citi are all major players in Islamic banking through “Islamic windows”. Therefore, what happens in the conventional world will inevitably have ramifications on Islamic banking.
March / April 2012 GC 13
The Promise of Gold Canadian mining industry executives target Middle Eastern investors.
ome of Canada’s top minworld have a different perspective on Companies like IAMGOLD are ing industry executives came investments in Africa.” keen on developing Green energy in to Dubai recently to present Stothart conceded that the gold mining, but without a lot of experiinvestment opportunities for mining business is “volatile,” but its ence in that arena, Stothart says “a mining operations in West cyclical nature goes down and comes partnership would be an incredible Africa and Canada. The back up. opportunity.” first ever Middle Eastern He pointed to compaPrecious Metals Summit nies like Shuaa Capital, brought companies like one of the leading private Goldcorp who command equity firms in the GCC, a market capitalization of run by His Highness $40 billion as well as world Sheikh Maktoum Hasher mining leaders like IAMAl Maktoum. During the GOLD and Osisko, all in summit His Highness a bid for investment minSheikh Maktoum Hasher ing partnerships. Al Maktoum shared his Gordon Stothart, CEO experiences in the field of Canada based IAMof precious metals investGOLD, said that his ment and Green Energy. company was looking to Alexandre Teodoresco, globalize their investor Managing Director of base into the Far East and summit organiser Middle MidEast. “We’re looking East Trade Development HH Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Al Maktoum, a private investor, speaks at the summit. for partners for bringing Agency, says Dubai might new mines into operation seem like an unconvenor partners that have gold tional choice for a mining assets they are looking to get develindustry meet up, however the market oped and we would help them with potential for investors from the region that.” is strong. "We’re looking for Stothart said that it was the “obviDespite the presence of free flowous association” between the MidEast ing capital in the GCC and the well partners for bringing new and Africa that brought his company known appetite amongst local busimines into operation or to Dubai in search of investors to nessmen for gold spanning decades; partners that have gold partner up with, in an effort to expand very few companies have invested in assets they’re on their existing mining operations in actual precious metals mining comlooking to get developed panies to date. West Africa. According to Teodoresco, the reaHe described the MidEast invesand we would help them son for this stems from there being tor as being ‘more savvy’ than their with that." no previous platform to educate the North American counterparts when market on the immense investment it comes to mining operations in opportunities in this industry. Africa. “Investors in this part of the
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photography courtesy of Omid Khadem
By Natasha Tourish
RUNNING ON EMPTY
FINANCING ENERGY FOR THE FUTURE The worldâ€™s oil and natural gas supplies could run out within a decade according to some experts. The burden is heavily on the shoulders of private investors to fund new technologies to fuel the future. By Patricia Andrews
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Image courtesy of Corbis / ArabianEye.com
espite distractions from the Eurozone economic crisis and the upcoming US presidential elections, more and more government ministers and business leaders are under pressure to come up with ideas to finance their way out of an impending energy crisis.This is no easy task considering the backdrop of economic uncertainty and the fact that banks are much less willing to fund ideas than they were in the past. Investors dig deep to find financing The current crisis has several impacts according to Marcelo de Andrade, Partner at Earth Capital Partners, “Financing and incentives are no longer seen as affordable for governments and several have reneged on previous commitments creating a much greater risk for investors,” he says. “Banks have less capital and are less likely to deploy and renewable energy is seen as ‘new’ and so perceptions of risk tend to be exaggerated, making progress through credit committees slow and complicated.” Experts say the ongoing turmoil in the global economy is stalling government spending in renewable energy projects around the world. The good news though, as governments scale back spending, private investors and venture capitalists are digging deeper into their pockets. “Despite a global economic slowdown, investment in renewable energy has grown worldwide,” according to Adnan Amin, the head of Abu Dhabi - based Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), adding that 90% of current investment is coming from the private sector. Venture capital is a very important source of funding for startups that do not have access to capital markets. It typically entails high risk for the investor, but it has above average potential. The uncertainty in the global financial markets may be posing an added risk, but it is also creating opportunity for those willing to take the gamble. “I think 2012 is going to be difficult year, we have been dealing with structural changes in the world markets in 2010/2011 and 2012 will still be a difficult year, but there are pockets that look attractive and there are regions that look attractive,” said Wayne Keast, the Chief Executive of the $500 million New Energy, Environmental and Sustainability
private equity arm of Consensus Business Group. Roger Ammon, Principal, Customised Fund Investment Group, Credit Suisse Asset Management says banks need to be educated to look at opportunities that are more viable. “Today they want to take zero risk and get an 8-10 per cent return on investment,” he commented. But poor visibility about the future is making things hard for investors. “We are in for a very long winter,” said Anup Jacob, a Venture Partner of Virgin Green Fund who is investing growth capital in renewable energy and resource efficiency sectors.“The reason we think that there is a higher need for private equity and venture capitalists to put dollars at work at these valuations is fundamentally that we are not seeing the rates of adoption keeping up with where pricing is. The number one complaint that we get when we meet companies is that I need twice the number that I am raising now. If you ask any entrepreneur is this the last round? The answer is-not sure.” Abu Dhabi still spending Despite a difficult financial environment for asset managers and industries across the globe, “capital is becoming more readily available for investment into green growth and clean energy technology,” according to Alex O’Cinneide, head of investments at Masdar Capital – the investment arm of Abu Dhabi’s green energy company, Masdar. Masdar, a government initiative established in 2006 to advance renewable energy and sustainable technologies, is building the zerocarbon city as an example of future eco-friendly cities but it has fallen victim to the global turmoil. The development has slowed down, pushing its completion date from 2016 to between 2020 and 2025.The estimated cost of the city has also dropped from $22 billion to around $1 billion. Nonetheless, it still has many renewable energy projects under construction and many more in the pipeline. Abu Dhabi recently announced plans to spend billions of dirhams in clean energy projects in Scotland. While no specific projects have been defined, the framework of the deal aims to lead to developments in clean technology and is part of government efforts to ramp up renewable energy initiatives.
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TAX SAVINGS FOR
Canadian Immigrants Special trusts offer financial benefits for High-Net Worth immigrants.
espite the Canadian government’s attempts to eliminate tax benefits for Canadians who use offshore trusts to shelter their wealth, a special exception exists for high-net worth individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada. Like all other residents of Canada, immigrants must pay tax on their worldwide income or capital gains earned. However Canada permits high-net worth immigrants to use a qualified non-resident trust (often referred to as an ‘immigration trust’) to legitimately protect income earned for up to 60 months. The government hopes that this tax holiday will entice families to relocate to Canada over other countries. The immigrant can be the settlor of the trust and the beneficiaries are typically the immigrant and their family. There are various factors to consider when deciding where the trust will be resident. It will most often be resident in a low or no income and/or capital gains taxing jurisdiction. Other important factors to be canvassed include language barriers, asset protection legislation, banking and financial infrastructure, political stability, time zone differences and the reputation of the service providers. Payments of income from the trust to any beneficiaries resident in Canada will be taxable in the recipient’s hands. While all capital payments from the trust made after the first year are reportable to the Canadian taxing authority, such capital payments are not taxable in Canada. However, if any of the trust’s assets generate Canadian source income, it will be taxed in Canada. Therefore, it is critical not to have any trust assets generate Canadian source income in order to take full advantage of the tax holiday. Moreover, it’s not a requirement that the trust be settled prior to the immigrant’s arrival to Canada. However, if the trust is not settled before the immigrant’s arrival there will be a deemed disposition of the immigrant’s assets upon their transfer to the trust. Therefore, if there
has been an increase in the value of the assets between the date the immigrant became a tax resident of Canada and the date the assets were settled on the trust, Canadian capital gains tax would be eligible on any gain. The 60-month tax holiday can be shortened. First, if an immigrant becomes a tax resident of Canada on December 31st of a calendar year, he will be deemed to have already lost 12 of the 60 months of the tax holiday. Consequently, to take full advantage of the tax holiday it’s wise for the immigrant to plan to arrive in Canada in early January. Second, if the immigrant has previously been a tax resident of Canada, he will lose part of the tax holiday for the time already spent in Canada as a tax resident. Immigration trusts can offer substantial Canadian tax savings; however, their implementation is not appropriate for every high-net worth immigrant to Canada. Immigrant Investor Programs available through companies like Arton Capital, with offices in Dubai and Canada, can advise potential immigrants on what best suits their personal situation.
Heenan Blaikie LLP is a full service law firm with offices in Canada, Paris and Singapore. For more information on the Tax Group’s services and Canadian immigration trusts, contact Lucinda E. Main: email@example.com
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Keeping Multi-Generation Family Businesses Alive in Lebanon Global Citizen examines the challenges to survive in an increasingly competitve market. By Mona Alami
The internationally acclaimed Tabbah jewellery brand was founded 150 years ago by Lebanese entrepreneur Bechara Tabbah. The family continues to run the business today.
ebanon’s business world is dominated by brand names associated with old families, such as Fattal, Obegi and Tabbah, regional distributors and jewellers, respectively. These family-owned corporations have survived years of political and economic upheaval and 20 GC March / April 2012
several generations of leadership. “In Lebanon, family businesses represent over 90% of private sector businesses, accounting for 80% of economic activity, compared to 60% in some Western countries,” says Josiane Fahed-Sreih, Director, Institute for Family and Entrepreneurial Business at Lebanon’s American University.
Family businesses are built on reputation and trust in the family name, which is something that takes years to achieve, underlines Fahed-Sreih. “Honesty and good dealings are valuable assets that ought to be preserved by future generations,” she added. But the future of family businesses in Lebanon seems gloomy. Accord-
ing to research studies highlighted by Fahed-Sreih, only 30 percent of new family businesses in Lebanon will survive to the second generation, 14 percent to the third generation and 3 to 5 percent will go beyond to the fourth. “To survive, family businesses have to get a number of things right while facing many difficult challenges,” the professor says. Companies that outlive their founders generally tend to have a clear managerial system, are able to professionalize their standards and choose the right leadership at every stage of their evolution. The importance of planning A clear and smooth succession is an essential element allowing for the success of family businesses, and it is usually facilitated when the number of heirs is limited. “The better you plan for succession, the better it is for the business while guaranteeing an easy transition,” says Wafa Saab, CEO of Tinol Paints, a family company. In some companies, succession is complicated by divorce and polygamy, when heirs from the founder’s various marriages fight over shares. In addition, female family members’ roles in family businesses have grown with the rising number of women entering the workforce, “Typically in some family business, women still inherit a lesser share than their brothers or male relatives, while the control they have over the business is limited intentionally,” notes Fahed-Sreih. To insure long-term sustainability and stability, family members irrespective of their gender, should get their fair share to preserve trust and harmony among shareholders, advises FahedSreih. Parents who want to ensure their children’s successful assumption of the reins need to start mentoring them at a young age, familiarising them with the business processes, teaching them how to read financial statements and balance sheets, and stressing the value of hard work and managing money. Saab underlines that owners of family businesses should be involved in running the operation only if they qualify
In Lebanon, family businesses represent over 90% of private sector businesses-accounting for 80% of economic activity. for the post. Ideally, they should also be held to the same standards that are applied to the rest of the company’s staff. The value of relationships For Mosbah Idriss, member of the board of directors of Idriss Group, a local distribution company and producers of Dolly’s ketchup, relationships among the family members are the backbone of his company’s success. Family members need to com-
Companies that outlive their founders generally tend to have a clear managerial system, are able to professionalize their standards and choose the right leadership at every stage of their evolution. municate well with each other, and younger generations should be involved in the business in order to secure their commitment and loyalty to it, he says. “With this purpose in mind, we have formed a sort of shadow board of directors, allowing the
third generation to be more involved in the operation,” he adds. Another important practice is valuing important non-family members of the business. “High performers may resign if they feel their access to a top position is rendered impossible. Employers can overcome this problem if a clear system built on meritocracy is put in place,” underscores Fahed-Sreih. To be able to overcome the obstacles, family businesses should strive to establish strong systems of governance. This can be done by forming a board of directors, preferably including non-family members, and putting in place clear policies across the board. “Family businesses should separate between ownership and management. Hiring an outside CEO who would be held accountable to the Board of Directors is sometimes seen as a solution to prevent conflicts,” adds Fahed-Sreih. Some companies in Lebanon have opted for IPOs. While there has been a massive move for companies in the Middle East to expand on regional financial markets, the trend has been somewhat limited in Lebanon, with the exception of a few names such as the Rasamny-Younes Motor Company, Bank Audi and Byblos Bank. “Family businesses have many strengths. They can outperform corporations if they are able to achieve harmony among their members and ensure high performance, while maintaining lower costs. One last advantage they enjoy is that they have the ability to plan on the longerterm,” concludes Fahed-Sreih. March / April 2012 GC 21
Private Jet travel gets a boost Abu Dhabi’s first private jet airshow restores confidence in the region’s private aviation market. By Ivan Vanderhyden
bu Dhabi Airports Company makes its debut in the international aviation exhibition arena with the Abu Dhabi Air Expo this month, signaling a recovery in the region’s private aviation market. Like most industries, private aviation suffered huge setbacks following the global financial crisis of 2008, losing billions of dollars, and leaving the industry questioning its own future. However, the speed of the aviation industries recovery as a whole from the financial crisis is testament to the importance of aviation to the operations of global businesses. Renaud Cloatre, International Sales Director for Dassault Aviation reaffirmed the industry’s resilience and said that decision makers are ready to commit again to using the private aircrafts for their travel needs. “In addition to the worldwide financial crisis, the Middle East has been in turbulence with the political changes of the Arab spring, which has had a slowing down impact on the de-
cision process to acquire business jets over the last year. However, since the 2011 Dubai Air Show we have seen a marked increase in charter demand as well as enquiries on both new and pre owned Falcon business jets,” said Cloatre. Adding, “We are looking forward to the premiere edition of the Abu Dhabi Air Expo to confirm this upward trend.” The Expo will also act as an education platform for people with an interest in the industry. Seminars focusing on the different career paths available in the industry will be held for our aviation professionals of the future. More than 100 firms, including heavy hitters such as Embraer, Dassault and Bombardier will showcase their executive business jets on the static aircraft display. The Abu Dhabi Air Expo carries with it a strong contingent of sponsorship including the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Falcon Aviation Services, Breitling and Etihad Airways, which ensures that the show will have a strong presence on the international aviation exhibition scene for many years to come.
Renaud Cloatre, International Sales Director for Dassault Aviation
March / April 2012 GC 23
Life Coaching for Entrepreneurs A unique program helps entrepreneurs maintain essential work-life balance.
an Sullivan has a vision for entrepreneurs: “The freedoms to innovate, contribute, and profit without limits, and do so whilst enjoying an extraordinary life.” This freedom is the main reason people become entrepreneurs, yet very few end up having that experience because of hectic schedules and lack of planning. A Canadian businessman himself, Sullivan had observed that of the five percent of the population who decide to become entrepreneurs, 95 percent get stuck at a certain level of achievement—what he calls “hitting a ceiling of complexity”—and can’t transcend it. The echelon of entrepreneurs 24 GC March / April 2012
above that level is doing something entirely different, and he’s proven that others can learn to do it too. “If complexity is the problem,” he says, “then the solution has to be simplicity.” This is why Sullivan created the Strategic Coach Program in Canadato give the world’s most ambitious, talented, and successful entrepreneurs a systematic way to grow their companies, whilst freeing them personally to do what they love and differentiate themselves totally from price competition, and continually expand their quality of life. Strategic coaching Sullivan started coaching business
people in 1974, before such a concept really existed. One client told him, “You’re like my strategic coach,” and the term stuck.” Eventually, he hit his own ‘ceiling of complexity’ with one-on-one coaching, “there were only so many hours in the day, and only one of me,” he added. Then he met Babs Smith, an entrepreneur herself, who would go on to become his business partner and his wife. She saw the potential of what Sullivan was doing and built a company around him so they could reach a far greater audience. “Babs is the captain of the ship,” he jokes, “and I’m in charge of entertainment.” Dan Sullivan, strategic coach
Dan Sullivan leads one of his coaching classes
Karim Ghandour attends sessions in London.
Today, Strategic Coach has grown into an international organisation with workshops being held in London and Canada every 90 days for some of the brightest minds in global business. “While many mastermind groups, seminars, and consultants for entrepreneurs have emerged, no other structure has its integrated approach and wealth of experience at helping entrepreneurs create exponential growth,” Sullivan added. From a distance Strategic Coach sounds like a self-help gimmick but its success rate speaks for itself. Since its inception more than 14,000 entrepreneurs have participated and con-
tributed to the development of the programme. Karim Ghandour, the founder of the MoneyLine Group in Dubai, is one of the few UAE residents who travel’s, in his case, to London to take part in the coaching programme. He explained that although his business was thriving, chronic fatigue was preventing him from enjoying his success. “I always felt that I needed to attend to matters 24/7, and the line between work hard and play hard became blurry. In summer 2008, I had a health scare where I thought I was suffering from heart palpitations. When the results came back, I found out it was all caused by stress. At that time, I realized I needed to change my lifestyle,” said Ghandour. “Every successful person, whether an athlete or politician, has some kind of coach who holds him or her accountable,” he remarks. “As an entrepreneur, having a coach in London to hold me accountable every 90 days enables me to meet my personal and business targets. Even if I achieve only 80% of my targets, in the long run, it’s about progress not perfection.” Ghandour underscored the importance of ‘habit’ to maintaining his work life balance. “Every 90 days I get the opportunity to evaluate the last 90 days personally and professionally as well as plan for the next 90 days. It allows me to spend time with myself and reflect on my whole life, four times a year,” he added.
Global participation The participants in the program range in age from twenty to eighty, are male and female, and come from every conceivable industry, running businesses—sometimes several at once—that span from a single office with a few key team members to multinational corporations with thousands on staff. What they all have in common is the experience of being an entrepreneur in the top one to two percent of their industry and having a commitment to create “a bigger future.” This unique environment for learning and growth is divided into three different income levels — $100K, $250K, and $500K+— to ensure each group is made up of peers who share common challenges and opportunities.
"Every successful person, whether an athlete or politician, has some kind of coach who holds him or her accountable." “Most entrepreneurs fly to their day long workshops in Canada or the UK depending on whichever country suits them better and say that the time spent physically away from their business allows them to think, plan, and make decisions in ways that simply aren’t possible when they’re involved in the day-to-day operations,” explained Sullivan. “The concepts and tools in the workshops build in an orderly progression, so participants are encouraged to attend every workshop, but there are options for rescheduling. Their personal Program Advisor can help with this, and will also support them in between sessions as they implement the Program in the running of their business.”
Find out more information at www.strategiccoach.com March / April 2012 GC 25
Boomtown Fujairah Once known for its pristine beaches and resorts, Fujairah is fast becoming the region’s most lucrative new trade hub, attracting millions in investment. By Heba Hashem
ith the slowdown in Dubai’s construction and project cancellations in Abu Dhabi, the tiny emirates of Fujairah has seized the opportunity to transform itself into one of the world’s top tanker refueling and oil storage hubs. Strategic location, lower risk, and relatively less congestion are some of the factors that the emirate has managed to leverage in order become the world’s second largest bunkering port after Singapore. While the UAE’s other six emirates lie along the western Persian Gulf, Fujairah’s position on the east coast provides direct sea access leading to the vast Indian Ocean. In terms of import and export, this is Fujairah’s unique selling proposition. A new era in crude transport The world has been watching as a massive 370km oil pipeline is being built across the UAE. Stretching from Habshan in Abu Dhabi all the way to Fujairah and bypassing the critical Strait of Hormuz, this pipeline will
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give Abu Dhabi access to the Indian Ocean at a tense time when the EU has embargoed Iranian oil, forcing Asian countries to turn to GCC oil as an immediate alternative. Construction on the $3.3 billion pipeline began in 2008 and is expected to finish by mid-2012. When complete, the pipeline will be able to export 1.5m barrels per day and will enable Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) to export half of its total production within the first year. Indeed, this will be a new era in crude transportation, not only for Abu Dhabi but also for Fujairah, where a strategic oil reservoir and refinery are being
A maritime fortune As the largest multipurpose port on the country’s eastern seaboard, the Port of Fujairah occupies an enviable geographic location and can accommodate up to 100 vessels at any time. Taking advantage of this exceptional maritime station, Gulf Petrochem recently invested $136.4 million to develop a 412,000-cubic metre storage terminal by September, in which Fujairah Petroleum Company will acquire a 12% stake. Although the Sharjah-based company operates globally with offices in Dubai, India, Singapore and Europe, its latest investment proves the significance of Fujairah’s port to the
Fujairah has seized the opportunity to transform itself into one of the world’s top tanker refueling and oil storage hubs. set up. The reservoir, housing eight giant tanks, each capable of holding one million barrels of crude, is larger than initially planned. These developments are bound to attract oil players, especially those in the field of oil trading, bunkering, refining, and storage as well as bitumen manufacturing and shipping. Some of these players have already arrived.
oil services industry. “Our latest developments in tank storage reflect our vision to make the oil storage business one of the key drivers for our rapid growth”, says Harsh Sinha, Executive Director of Gulf Petrochem. Azerbaijan is also establishing a foothold in Fujairah’s bunker market through a project known as SAFT; a joint venture between Socar, the in-
Image courtesy of Corbis / ArabianEye.com
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The Port of Fujairah occupies an enviable geographic location and can accommodate up to 100 vessels at any time. ternational marketing and trading arm of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR); Aurora Progress, the Swiss-based commodity trading house; and the Government of Fujairah. SAFT involves the construction of a 641,000-cubic metre oil terminal in Fujairah, and will receive financing of $110m from the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apricorp); a multilateral development bank owned by the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), and which the UAE holds a 17% stake in. Beyond the sea Fujairah’s 1,450 sq km of land is drawing other clusters of business as well that can use the seaside emirate as a base for regional activity. Qatar will be awarding more than $106 billion worth of projects between now and 2022, investing in oil and gas, heavy industry, electricity generation, water desalination, social infrastructure and transportation. Saudi Arabia has $108 billion worth of construction across the kingdom in the pipeline. Global manufacturers catering to any of these industries would turn a profit by being close at hand, and given that Fujairah has its own free zone with competitive packages on offer, prospects for new establishments look promising. An Indian conglomerate that sensed
Port of Fujairah
the opportunity early on was J.K. Cement Ltd., having invested $150m in the construction of a cement factory in Fujairah, to be commissioned in 2013. The plant will have a capacity of 600,000 tonnes per annum for white cement. Attracting Chinese business Chinese companies are next on the agenda for Fujairah Free Zone Authority (FFZA), where more than 2,000 companies are already registered. At a meeting during the second China-Arab States Trade Forum, FFZA’s director general Sharif Al Awadi said the authority was preparing to build a new refinery with a ca-
pacity of 300,000 tonnes, besides the 300,000-tonne refinery that is underway. “We are open to investment proposals. You have advanced technology and we can take advantage of that. Anything to do with processing or pharmaceuticals is welcome,” he told the meeting attended by Chinese oil and other companies. The 85km Sheikh Khalifa Highway linking Fujairah and Dubai opened last December, reducing travel time between the two emirates by 60 minutes. Connected via road, sea, and air, Fujairah has all it takes to become a business hub, with a dedicated department for industrial and economic activities.
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Pioneering Good Taste Entrepreneur Kamal Mouzawak unites local producers and communities by blending Lebanese culture, politics and a passion for organic food. By Matt Nash
Mouzawak at his restaurant, Tawlet, a revolutionary concept that’s revivied long forgotten Lebanese culinary traditions.
amal Mouzawak isn’t shy about wanting to make money. The founder of Lebanon’s first organic farmer’s market is running a socially conscious “for-benefit” business. Today, he says, “Too many companies do well socially and environmentally but have a money phobia. We should be income-generating, and we shouldn’t have a complex about that, but at the same time be socially and environmentally responsible.” The son of a farmer who never lived outside of Lebanon, Mouzawak, 43, began to travel in a bid to discover his own country after the civil war. Soon after he moved into cuisine writing and began working with the Slow Food movement, a self-described global, grassroots organization ‘linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to [the] community and the environment’. Around the same time, he says, he was introduced to macrobiotics – an herbalistic lifestyle focused on eschewing highly processed food in favour of fresh, and usually organic, fruits and vegetables as well as limiting meat intake. Mouzawak loves to cook – and even did a stint at co-hosting a cooking TV show – but concedes he’s not a chef. ‘I’ve had no formal training’, he says. Marketing ‘good taste’ Inspired by his parents, his travels in Lebanon and his passion for local organic food, Mouzawak founded Souk al-Tayeb (which roughly translates to
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the Good Taste Market) in 2004. Set up every Saturday in downtown Beirut, Souk al-Tayeb is Lebanon’s first farmer’s market. “Make food, not war,” he says. “This is our main message.” Today around 100 producers sell their goods each week at the market, though he notes that many of the goods for sale are produced by families or cooperatives, meaning over 500 people are ultimately responsible for filling the souk’s stands. To ensure
servants in Lebanon. This branching out is all part of Mouzawak’s vision. In 2006, Mouzawak moved into branding Souk al-Tayeb’s produce and products. He opened a store in the northern Lebanese city of Byblos called Dekkaneh (which means shop in Arabic), but his timing was less than ideal. Two days after the shop opened, the July 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah broke out. It was predictably bad for business and so they closed.
"Too many companies do
photography courtesy of Nadim Kamel
well socially and environmentally but have a money phobia. We should be income-generating, and we shouldn’t have a complex about that, but at the same time be socially and environmentally responsible."
what’s for sale is truly organic, Mouzawak says Souk al-Tayeb works with agricultural engineers and has strict quality control standards. “We work on many levels: food hygiene, food quality, accounting, legal issues. We identify their needs and based on that we develop capacity building programs,” he says. Building a conscientious brand As the market gained in popularity, it began to offer more than just food. With an eye toward social responsibility, Mouzawak says he began hosting events at the market that played on themes like workers’ rights and the often poor treatment of domestic
Souk al-Tayeb began organizing food festivals outside the capital in 2007. “We thought, why just have a move from rural to urban through the farmer’s market? We would like to go visit different regions, so we created the ‘Food and Feast’ regional food festivals, where we go to different regions for a one-day festival celebrating what a village has to treasure,” he says. From market to table The next natural step for Mouzawak was moving from the market to the table. In 2009, he and a partner opened Tawlet (‘table’ in Arabic), a restaurant that is an extension of the Souk. Farmers who sell at the market cook at Tawlet using their own organic goods. Soon, Mouzawak says he’ll open a shop-in-shop to see
goods at Tawlet also. One thing he’s not doing, however, is encouraging farmers to export. “Export comes much later in the chain, not now. And one should always serve his own land before exporting,” he says. “Very often people have the lure of exporting, but they forget it’s very difficult, very long, very tiresome and costs a lot of money. Sometimes the returns are not as interesting after all of this fuss.” Inspiring other markets Mouzawak points out that he does not want to franchise what already exists in Lebanon, but he does look at exporting the model he has created. “We’re hopefully doing something soon in Qatar, a farmer’s market, a farmer’s kitchen and a farmer’s shop.” But he clearly states they are not selling Lebanese products, recipes or in-
gredients, but “celebrating, developing and promoting local producers, recipes, ingredients,” in Qatar. When pressed on why he wouldn’t franchise, he pointed to the latest development along Beirut’s downtown seashore—Zaytouny Bay. “Go there. Where are you? Are you in Vancouver, Sydney, Dubai? This international style is just unbearable”, he says. March / April 2012 GC 29
Immigrant Investor Programme
Direct Investment According to the Minister for Justice, Equality & Defence, Alan Shatter, Ireland’s new Immigrant Investor Programme will offer three potential investment types: a specially created low interest government bond for immigrant investors, capital investment in an Irish business or the purchase of property. The level and duration of financial commitment required from the investor depends on the nature of the investment, but will generally range from 400,000 for endowment-related investments to 2 million in the
new low-interest bearing government bond. Bringing Start Ups to Ireland Another option for immigrant investors is the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme, which enables potential immigrants with a good business idea and funding of at least 70,000, to get residency in Ireland to develop their business. “We need to do more to tap into the entrepreneurial potential that exists among migrants,” said Shatter. The Department of Justice has operated a business permission scheme in the past, but the conditions were considered to be too onerous. “Our existing business permission lacked the sort of flexibility needed to attract start-ups,” said Shatter. “We have been looking at this issue and had useful input from government departments in drawing up the new proposals.” Shatter expects the new schemes to launch by mid-March and be effective from April.
Singapore Caps Immigrant Investors
As the news that Ireland will launch Immigrant Investor Programmes filtered through, one of the most established Immigrant Investor Programmes in the world, Singapore, announced they would be closing to new applicants in a bid to diversify it’s population. The details of the changes will be released in mid March and be effective from April. The Singaporean government plans to review their criteria to ensure the quality of applicants continues to increase. “Singapore will continue to attract talented investors who have new skills to contribute,” said a source. Existing applicants will have time to submit their applications before the changes come into effect. (See our next issue for a full report.)
Arton Capital, a leading advisor in Immigrant Investor Programs, is in direct contact with related government agencies from Ireland and Singapore in order to advise clients on the best way to implement new investor program legislation. Once the exact legislation guidelines are released, Arton Capital will offer financial products related to both programmes.
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Photo courtesy of Gallo/Getty Imsges
he Irish government announced plans to introduce two new immigration initiatives aimed at attracting nonEuropean entrepreneurs and investors to the country. The programme will offer immigrants and their immediate families residence in Ireland in return for job creating investments.
Coffee at the Capital Club
Lessons of the Game Shyam Bhatia channels his passion for cricket into a global charity initiative for children.
hyam Bhatia went to his first cricket match at the age of six; was playing first-class cricket at 18; started the ‘Shyam Bhatia Cricket Awards’ at 55 and, at 62, launched a global charity to take cricket to disadvantaged children. Today the 69 year old Dubai based steel baron is one of the biggest patrons of the game, and has been selected for the 2012 Mother Teresa International Award. The award recognizes the achievements of those who beautify the world. Bhatia will travel to Calcutta at the end of April to receive the “humbling” award, which he says is “one of the greatest honours” he has ever received. Bhatia’s dedication to cricket goes beyond a past time- it’s his fuel for life. He attributes his success in business and in life to lessons he learned from playing the game. “With a straight bat you can never have any problems,” he reasoned. “You can build up your innings in whatever you do and come back.” Cricket For Care distributes simple cricket kits containing: cricket balls, bats, helmets, wicket-keeping gloves, protective gears- to underprivileged children. Playing the game keeps them from getting into trouble and as was in his case, teaches important lessons. “Children play the game and build their character, discipline, team spirit, leadership and most importantly learn to bat with a straight bat…while playing and in life.” After Japan’s tsunami Bhatia was one of the first to lend his support by sending 250 kits.
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Bhatia has also turned his lifelong love of cricket into a no expense spared museum in a building adjacent to his Jumeirah home. He also set up the Shyam Bhatia Cricket Awards in 1998 as a modest event to recognize the UAE’s local cricketers. It is now an annual fixture in the cricketing calendar, drawing international cricket stars. In 2003, Bhatia published a book, “Portraits of the Game, Cricketing Greats Recall Their Magic Moments,” a collection of memorable experiences of renowned international cricket players. Though the coffee table book hasn’t been published for general circulation, companies like Deutsche Bank, Emirates Airlines and Standard Chartered Bank have placed orders. Bhatia donates all the proceeds from these sales to cricket authorities around the world to buy kits for children in their respective countries. “I have not made any money from cricket and never intend to. All I want to do is give back to the game as much as I possibly can. Because cricket has taught me three critical things: discipline, fairness and commitment. They are the foundation of all my interactions, whether at home or at work,” Shyam underlines.
In our new series, Coffee at the Capital Club, GC will profile a prominent member of the regional business community.
photography courtesy of Omid Khadem
By Natasha Tourish
The Middle East’s
ART Influencers Across the region, a transformational movement has fueled a revival in artistic spirit. From Egypt to Tunisia, young populations eager to express themselves amid political changes in the Arab world are developing striking new works of art. Dubai has become home to over 120 art galleries in less than 10 years. Qatar is now the world’s largest buyer of contemporary art and its world class museums, designed by the likes of I.M. Pei, play host to exhibitions of the world’s most well known artists like Louise Bourgeois and Takashi Murakami. At the heart of this dramatic growth are dedicated artists, gallerists, collectors, curators and critics, who are helping weave the fabric of the region’s art scene. Meet some of the most influential people in the Middle Eastern art world.
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Art SPECIAL REPORT
H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Chairperson, Qatar Museums Authority Qatar very year, Art & Auction, the premier magazine for international art collectors, ranks the most powerful figures in the art world. Topping this year’s list is H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, daughter of the Emir of Qatar and the 28-year old head of the Qatar Museums Authority. The distinction was no mere public relations coup. The ruling family of Qatar, the Al Thani’s, is reportedly the buyer of Paul Cezanne’s The Card Players, which sold for $250 million in 2011. Other notable purchases by the al Thani’s include 11 Rothko paintings from the collection of J. Ezra Merkin, the $72.8 million Rockefeller Rothko and the entirety of the Sonnabend art collection – an estimated price tag of $400 million. The architect of this ambitious shopping spree is art enthusiast H.E. Sheikha Mayassa. The Duke University graduate is the youthful guiding force creating the vision for future museums and cultural projects, with the aim of transforming Qatar into a leading centre of culture and education for the region and the world. “The existential, social and political impact an artist has on his nation’s development of cultural identity is very important. Art and culture is big business,” she said at TEDWomen in December 2010.
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Art SPECIAL REPORT
Director, Athr Art Gallery & Curator, Edge of Arabia
Hafiz decided to devote his energies to elevating the stature of Saudi art.
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ohammed Hafiz began dealing with gallerists when he was 16. In love with a painting by Saudi artist Abdullah Hamas, Hafiz negotiated an installment plan in order to pay for the piece, leveraging future allowances and gifts. Today he himself is a gallerist, having founded Jeddah’s Athr Art Gallery in 2009. The idea came to him while attending Art Dubai in 2007. “I walked through the fair and admired the art works, but I did not see a single Saudi artist,” Hafiz recalls. Frustrated and disappointed, he returned home and decided to devote his energies to elevating the stature of Saudi art. In the process, he connected with Edge of Arabia, a travelling exhibition of Saudi art organised through London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. Their missions proved complementary; while Edge of Arabia was seeking to give outsiders a glimpse into Saudi art, Hafiz wanted to erect a space that exhibited and promoted art for the local market. Barely three years old, Athr Gallery has become the dominant contemporary art gallery in Saudi Arabia, hosting exhibitions, public lectures and intellectual forums. Athr represents an esteemed roster of local artists, including Maha Malluh and Ayman Yossri Daydban.
Art SPECIAL REPORT
Rami Farook Curator, Traffic UAE
inner of the International Young Design Entrepreneur Award in 2009, self-taught curator, artist and founder of his own design studio at the age of just thirty, Emirati Rami Farook is something of an enigma. Born in Dubai, he worked for some time for his family businesses until he discovered an obsession for art and began collecting pieces from around the world, establishing what would later become the revered Farook Collection. It was also around this time that he set up his design gallery and studio – Traffic – which has evolved into a centre for contemporary art housing a library
and three galleries and hosting solo shows, exhibitions, screenings, lectures and competitions. His current projects include The State, which offers a socio-historical documentation of the state of the world today, and The Coming Interaction which looks at people’s emotional reaction to huge societal events such as the Arab Spring. Farook says he owes his success to being born in a place that enabled him to express his creativity. “We’re blessed with a government that provides opportunities to explore, learn and grow.” Dubai, he says, stands out as a hub for art because “it approaches (initiatives) with a blank slate, not having to deal with the weight of a traditional system.”
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Art SPECIAL REPORT
Manal Al Dowayan Artist Saudi Arabia orn and raised in Saudi Arabia, artist Manal Al Dowayan is inspired by the courage and energy of Saudi women.Her highly acclaimed photographic pieces deal with notions of identity and womanhood in Islamic society. The series – ‘I Am’ – a collection of black and white photographic portraits of “successful working women” in Saudi Arabia depicts her subjects wearing items associated with their respective professions, paired with traditional jewellery obstructing their faces. In describing the series she writes, “Today less than 3% of Saudi women work. Will this change? When?” Al Dowayan’s creativity in technique is inspired by the unique circumstances she herself works under. As a woman she can not stand in the street to take photos, so she shoots from building rooftops and the window of her car while someone else is driving. The resulting work is her series, Drive-by Shootings. On the region’s art world, she reflects, “It is in the discovery phase and full of brilliant surprises. Collectors support artists who are young and bold and are attracted to contemporary art and photography, which is often treated as second class art.” Al Dowayan has concurrent shows this month in the UAE, Qatar and Switzerland. Her photographs are also part of the permanent collection at the British Museum.
Al Dowayan’s ‘I Am an Engineer’ (right) and ‘I Am and Educator’ (far right) capture Saudi women at work .
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Art SPECIAL REPORT
William Wells Founder, Townhouse Gallery Egypt circuitous path lead to William Wells opening the Townhouse, the preeminent contemporary art space in Cairo and arguably, the Middle East. After completing studies in ancient history and fine arts in London, he renovated a derelict luggage factory there, transforming it into an arts centre. Wells initially intended to do the same in Cairo in 1985, but instead, became fascinated by bedouin life and involved himself in rural development work. He later taught secondary school-level art, but kept returning to his dream of establishing a gallery in Cairo. He finally did so with the founding of the Townhouse Gallery in 1998, coinciding with the rise of talented contemporary arts in Egypt and the region. An art space – offering film screenings, concerts, experimental exhibitions, and even rehearsal rooms – the Townhouse Gallery is positioned at the centre of an emerging contemporary scene. Wells shepherded the Townhouse amidst Egypt’s social and political upheaval, but despite the constant flux, he remains optimistic. “I anticipate the current situation will prove to be an important catalyst in furthering an already robust art community.”
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Art SPECIAL REPORT
Claudia Cellini &
Sunny Rahbar Founders, Third Line Gallery UAE
he Third Line gallery was formed in 2005 by two passionate curators–Claudia Cellini and Sunny Rahbar–and has gone on to become one of Dubai’s most exciting art spaces. It was the first gallery in the emirate to professionally represent its artists on a long term basis and works with talent from across the region including Morocco, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Both Cellini and Rahbar are passionate advocates committed to the long term growth of the art world in the Middle East. “If you ask what inspires us, I’ll tell you–good work. It’s that simple,” says Rahbar. Striving to place regional artists in international art fairs and exhibitions, The Third Line has two important upcoming shows at The Independent in New York and the Frieze in London. Cellini, who also serves as a coordinating director for the UAE Pavilion at the Venice Biennial, says more institutional support is key to elevating the art world in the region. “The collectors have really been instrumental in keeping the momentum moving and our hope is the government sector can contribute even more toward the growth of the scene.” Cellini (right) and Rahbar (left) are owners of Dubai’s The Third Line.
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Art SPECIAL REPORT
Farhad Farjam Collector and Art Patron UAE
r. Farhad Farjam is an Iranian-born philanthropist and art collector known for showcasing the works of talented new artists, as well as avidly collecting masterpieces from the past. He has been lauded for his tireless contribution to the regional art scene by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed. In his exhibition space, The Farjam Collection at DIFC, he has put together one of the most impressive privately owned collections in the world. Featuring Islamic and pre-Islamic art, contemporary Middle Eastern art and international modern and contemporary art, the collection is an exploration of travel and the fusion of cultures and traditions between East and West. His eclectic acquisitions also include beautiful Qurans, carpets and ceramics.
Last year he was awarded the distinguished ‘Patrons of the Arts Award’ for the depth of his contribution to the arts landscape in Dubai. “This recognition will undoubtedly encourage more individuals and institutions to exercise their social responsibility and support endeavours of merit…this is another step forward in Dubai’s advancement, this time as a world-class cultural capital,” he said. Farjam’s team is also responsible for putting together one of the biggest collections of contemporary Iranian art, including work by the internationally acclaimed Farhad Moshiri. Having been following the artist’s work since the outset of his career, Farjam’s collection features Moshiri’s famous traditional jars covered with pop lyrics, his lavishly textured cake paintings and the high flying ‘glitter’ canvases.
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Art SPECIAL REPORT
Antonia Carver Fair Director, Art Dubai UAE n just five years, Art Dubai has firmly established itself as the go to cultural event in the Middle East, proving to the world that Dubai is much more than just mega malls. Last year the fair attracted 21,000 visitors, including 60 international museum groups. Instrumental to this trajectory is Fair Director Antonia Carver who has been at the helm of the annual event for the last two years. With 75 galleries from 34 countries exhibiting this year, Carver says Dubai’s position as a trade hub offers a unique environment unlike any other fair. “At Art Dubai the global nature of the art world is most stark.” A former journalist who has been covering the art world in the region for some of the industry’s most respected publications, Carver brings a 360-degree perspective to the fair. Aside from its commercial success as a place for collectors to buy and gallerists to sell art, Carver has expanded the event to include a comprehensive educational and cultural programme dubbed ‘Art Week.’ She describes the fair as a place where visitors, whether established collectors or people just beginning to delve into the art world, can roam, discover and ask questions. “We have interns from four years ago who come back to the fair as collectors.” This, she says, is very particular to Art Dubai.
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Art SPECIAL REPORT
Hassan Khan Artist, Musician & Writer Egypt s a child, Hassan Khan wrote short stories and poetry, but when he entered university, “music became central,” he says. “It was liberating to work with a medium that did not demand the formulation of a statement.” One of the dominant threads of his internationally acclaimed artistic career is liberation. The writer, musician, visual artist, poet, filmmaker and teacher moves deftly across media, experimenting with forms and executing avant-garde installations such as his “Kompressor” project in 2006 at London’s Gasworks studios. “The medium is not some sort of field that has to be mastered but rather a source of possibility, potential and wonder as well as learning,” says Khan, who has held solo shows in Paris, London, Toronto and Cairo and participated in numerous international biennales and group shows.
Last summer Khan was tapped to head the jury for the 54th Venice Biennial. Most notably, last summer, Khan was tapped to head the jury for the 54th Venice Biennale, and he’s currently preparing his first retrospective, which will be exhibited at the September 2012 edition of SALT in Istanbul.
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Art SPECIAL REPORT
Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi Founder and President, Sharjah Art Foundation UAE rmed with a Masters in Curating Contemporary Art from London’s Royal College of Art, Her Highness Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi knew only too well the potential for the local Biennial held in her home of Sharjah. Upon sharing her vision with her father, Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi, ruler of Sharjah, he swiftly appointed her the Biennial’s director in 2003. The International Biennial exhibition in Sharjah has elevated the conservative emirate to stand alongside some of the newest contemporary art capitals in the world. “It has been such an experience to watch the Sharjah Biennial grow and develop from its beginnings in 1993 to the first one I curated in 2003 – and now ten years later to be once again feeling the excitement of artists, curators and our team as plans for the next Biennial begin to take shape,” says Sheikha Hoor. The 11th edition of the Sharjah Biennial, to be held in March of 2013, promises to bring a new perspective not only on current art practice but also on the emirate hosting it. Yuko Hasegawa has been chosen to curate the event. “Her proposal reflects the long tradition of Sharjah as a place where the gathering of diverse communities encourages an exchange of ideas and knowledge,” said Sheikha Hoor.
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Art SPECIAL REPORT
Artist Hala Elkoussy & Arif Naqvi, CEO of Abraaj Capital, in front of her work, The Mural, an Abraaj Capital Art Prize winner in 2010.
Abraaj Capital Art Patron UAE he Abraaj Capital Art Prize (ACAP) was launched in 2008, a year that marked significant economic turbulence around the world and a time when artists in particular were challenged to find funding. “Art Dubai approached Abraaj as a sponsor and it brought attention to the fact that there is a lack of corporate support for art in the region,” said Fred Sicre, a partner at Abraaj Capital. “We didn’t want to just throw money at this. We wanted to be involved in stimulating the art sector and that’s how the prize came about.” Through the prize, Abraaj has given under-represented local artists from the Middle East an opportunity to break ground, with both funding and infrastructural support. It is the only prize that awards artists based on a proposal, not actual work. Each year 5-6 artists are chosen to work
with an international curator to develop their work over a period of several months, culminating in an unveiling at Art Dubai. Tunisian artist Nadia Kaabi-Linke, a 2011 winner, was awarded $120,000 for her concept. “To produce the work, it wouldn’t have been possible without their funding – even museums don’t have this kind of money to give,” said Kaabi-Linke, during a phone interview from her home in Berlin. “They took a risk and it paid off for both of us.” Kaabi-Linke’s work is now on display in galleries across the UAE and at the Venice Biennale. She next plans to exhibit in New York. To date, Abraaj Capital Art Prize winning works unveiled at Art Dubai have gone on to exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, City Hall in London, MAXXI in Rome and the Venice Biennale.
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Art SPECIAL REPORT
Wassan Al-Khudhairi Director, Mathaf : Arab Museum of Modern Art Qatar
assan Al-Khudhairi has reached great heights in the regional arts scene at just 31. As Director of Mathaf– which she joined as collections curator in 2007 – she is instrumental to the establishment of Qatar as an artistic hub in the Middle East. “Mathaf’s long-term commitment to support artists by commissioning new work – specifically artworks created in Doha – dates back to HE Sheikh Hassan’s early support for hosting artists in residence,” she explains.
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Of Iraqi origin, Al-Khudhairi has lived in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UK and the US, where she worked at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York. She is continuously developing Mathaf’s public programmes and will co-host the Global Art Forum_6 this month with Art Dubai. “We aim to build connections between discourses and inspire new ideas,” she says. Al-Khudairi was recently appointed one of six joint artistic directors of the 9th Gwangju Biennale in South Korea in 2012.
Art SPECIAL REPORT
Photography by Sofia Dadourian
Art Patron UAE n arts revolution is quietly taking place in the depths of industrial Al Quoz. The architect of Alserkal Avenue, established in 2007, is the influential Emirati Alserkal family, effectively bankrolling the creation of an environment in which creative communities can flourish. Abdelmonem Alserkal, one of four sons of Eisa bin Nasser bin Abdullatif Alserkal has been the main driver of the Al Quoz arts community. The idea, says Abdelmonem, came to him while he was at university in the United States. “This was my first encounter with art galleries and creative functioning within one space, as a cluster. To witness historical areas or neglected warehouse spaces become thriving hubs for arts and creativity was very inspiring to see. I remember thinking to myself, ‘I would love to be part of such a wonderful development back in my home country’.” Alserkal believes art brings cultures together and creates a dialogue and says he is inspired by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai. The success of Alserkal Avenue is patience, he explains. “Letting a space grow without rushing it, this is the key to success.”
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Art SPECIAL REPORT
Kaelen Wilson-Goldie Art Critic and Journalist Lebanon aelin Wilson-Goldie ditched her job as an editor in New York to move to Beirut nearly a decade ago, launching a career as a regional journalist and art critic. “I was kind of tired of the way New York mistakes itself for the world,” she says. “I wanted to see the world from a different perspective.” Aside from her regular reporting for the Daily Star, Wilson-Goldie, 36, contributes to two of the art world’s most respected magazines – London’s Frieze and New York’s
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Artforum – and is also a contributing editor to Bidoun, a quarterly magazine based in the Middle East. She loves her job, despite some of the blowback that comes with being an honest critic. “I always hear this line that ‘Oh, it’s good for Lebanon’… As if mediocrity is ok because people are trying, at least it’s there. To try and fight against this can be really traumatic.” But fight she does, and in the process opens the world’s eyes to the value and depth of art coming from the Middle East.
Art SPECIAL REPORT
Photography by Russ Kientsch
Founder, Salsali Private Museum UAE rt is as essential to society as water and electricity, believes Ramin Salsali, 47, founder of Salsali Private Museum (SPM), the region’s first private museum for contemporary art. The Iranian-born art patron opened the doors of his museum last November in Al Quoz. His motivation was to share his personal collection of 400 artworks- comprised of paintings, photography, sculpture and video art, as well as to build a hub for the creative community. “Social responsibility means we all have a duty to contribute to the development of the society in which we live. Mine was to open a private museum,” Salsali says. “Art and culture belong to the infrastructure of a country and are as necessary as water or energy supply - unfortunately not with the same immediate and visible results.” Salsali runs a company focused on green technology for the oil, gas and petrochemicals industries and divides his time between his homes in Dubai and Berlin. His hope is that SPM inspires other art lovers to share their own collections. “Creating access to renowned art works is a pleasure for all; collectors, artists and visitors. Being surrounded by my paintings and art objects is like being with my children every day. This is the biggest joy.”
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Art SPECIAL REPORT
Jack Persekian Director, Al-Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art Palestine nternationally recognised for his leadership at the Sharjah Biennial, his unswerving dedication to the Palestinian arts scene, and now his directorship at Jordan’s Darat Al Funun, Jack Persekian looks back at his storied curatorial career and says it “just happened.” “I was desperately trying to become a musician, but I failed miserably,” he says modestly. “So out of my persistent urge to work in the arts I opened a commercial gallery on Salah Eddin Street in Jerusalem in 1992.” The Anadiel Gallery was (and still is) the only contemporary art gallery in the Christian quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City.
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What started off as a private venture soon swelled into a form of social and cultural activism as Persekian founded Al-Ma’mal Foundation, which offers residencies, workshops and outreach programs. Furthermore, Persekian brought leading international artists to Palestine through Al-Ma’mal, enriching the cultural life while raising awareness of the ongoing occupation. After heading up the Sharjah Biennial for six years, Persekian recently accepted the post of Artistic Director at Jordan’s Darat al Funun. He also produces short films – one of which will be screened at the Global Art Forum at Art Dubai.
Art SPECIAL REPORT
Isabelle de le Bruyere Director, Christies Middle East UAE
he arrival of Christie’s to Dubai in 2005 set a milestone in the development of the region’s nascent art scene. Artists from the Arab world, Iran and Turkey were given an international platform and access to hundreds of thousands of clients to view their work. The numbers are telling; Christie’s regional new client base has grown by at least 20 percent annually since the opening of the office. That is the impact Isabelle de le Bruyere, Director of Christie’s Middle East, and her team have had on the region’s burgeoning art market. The first auction in 2006 was prepared to expect 250 bidders; instead, 680 showed up and works of art were sold for benchmark prices. The momentum continued, with three landmark sales in 2008 accounting for $25 million. “We are very tough as to which artist we want in the sale because we only want top quality works that can be resold,” she said. “Collectors look to Christies sales as a credible source and benchmark for the value of art. We are taste makers, and at the same time, we follow and listen to what collectors want from the market.” De la Bruyere, who has been with Christies since 1998, also sits on the Tate Modern’s Middle East acquisitions committee and is on the Committee for Arts and Patronage.
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Art SPECIAL REPORT
Gharemâ€™s record breaking piece, The Message/ Messenger recreates the gilded doam of a mosque raised by a pointed crescent moon on one side. Beneath is a dove in flight.
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By Sara Hamdan
Image courtesy of Edge of Arabia
The Value of the
Art SPECIAL REPORT
or some, buying art is not just about building a private collection or displaying an appreciation for beauty. As the Mideast art scene develops into an established market, more and more buyers are turning to the arts as an investment.“Even during times of economic uncertainty, people are putting their money into great art of great quality,” said Isabelle de la Bruyere, director of Christie’s Middle East. “It will always retain its value, like diamonds.” When describing how the art market has grown in the past five years, gallery owners, auction house directors, artists and fund managers put their hand up in a vertical line to delineate exponential growth. Emirates NBD estimates that the Mideast art market was worth $10 billion in 2010 and is increasingly gaining a foothold in the global $3 trillion art scene. Banks including Emirates NBD, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan have set up funds in the region that invest in art in order to get a piece of the action.
Saudi artist Abdulnasser Gharem’s work The Message / Messenger was expected to sell for $70,000-100,000. Instead it went for a whopping $842,500, making him the most valuable living artist in the Gulf today. When Christie’s Middle East held its first auction in Dubai in 2005, they selected a venue that would hold 250 people – and ended up scrambling to fit 400 extra seats to accommodate the 680 interested buyers who arrived. They have been catching up to demand ever since, with the auction house’s client base growing by 20 to 25 percent annually. Last year, Christie’s raked in $18.6 million and made big names for some local artists. Saudi artist Abdulnasser Gharem’s work The Message/Messenger estimated to sell for $70-100,000. Instead it realized a whopping $842,000 - making him the most valuable living artist in the Gulf today, according to de la Bruyere.
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Iranian -American artist Asad Fulham’s Les Femmes D’Alger is priced at $6,500.
Egyptian Ali Abdul Mohsen’s work forecasted the revolutionary spirit that continues to haunt Cairo.
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Will Lawrie’s galllery, Lawrie-Shabibi, showcases the pieces above and left.
Most of the artwork displayed in the region comes from the Gulf, Iran, Turkey, and from Arabs living abroad. Gallery owner Will Lawrie, part owner of the year-old Lawrie Shabibi gallery in Dubai, says that when assessing the value of a work of art, the artist’s track record, experience, size of the piece and medium used are taken into account. Works by new and established artists decorate the walls of his gallery in Al Quoz. On one side are penned drawings by Ali Abdul Mohsen, an Egyptian in his mid-twenties whose work - completed years ago - strangely foreshadowed the revolutionary spirit that continues to haunt Cairo’s streets today. These are modestly priced at $500. On an adjacent wall are Asad Fulhram’s colorful works. The Iranian-American artist, in his late twenties, has displayed his work in London and New York. His work is priced at $6,500. Opposite that is a massive painting of a tribal dancer drenched in sunlight, completed by a Turkish artist in her 50’s who has shown her work at major galleries around the world. This piece is valued at $50,000. “Prices of art rose very dramatically until 2008, when inflated expectations were suddenly put in check during the credit crunch,” said Mr Lawrie. “From 2009 onwards was the beginning of the adolescent stage in Dubai’s art market, with more discerning buyers and less speculation.” The most difficult year for the local art market was 2009, in his view, with many galleries shutting down and valuations of pieces in flux. “It’s a relief to be released from that unsustainable market, now it’s much more real,” he said. “For such a new market to come through a correction like that and be transformed, it’s working its way toward a more sustainable, solid art scene.” One trend he noticed is that there are more collectors today than there were in the past – so, rather than one collector buying 10 works, there are now 10 collectors limiting their purchases to one or two works.
Art SPECIAL REPORT
This is no surprise. High net worth individuals say “investments of passion” - which includes art – are increasingly being used as an alternative vehicle for preserving and appreciating capital over time, diversifying their portfolio exposure and capturing short-term speculative gains, according to the World Wealth Report 2011 by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini. In fact, art accounted for 22 percent of investments of passion overall, with art most likely to be seen as a form of financial investment, according to the report. Out of the advisors surveyed in the report, 42 percent said they believe their high net worth clients invest in art primarily for its poten-
"From 2009 onwards was the beginning of the adolescent stage in Dubai’s art market, with more discerning buyers and less speculation." tial to gain value. Valuation of art can be subjective, particularly in young markets like the Middle East, but with the advent of a number of new galleries and growing success of exhibitions including Art Dubai and Saudi’s Edge of Arabia, the numbers are gradually stabilizing. “Dubai’s contemporary art market is still in nascent stages and collectors are coming up to speed slowly,” said Rupert Conner, a financial advisor on art funds for Acuma Wealth Management in Dubai. “There is still some risk involved and only at the very top levels
of the art market can the best returns be seen – you need to have super exclusive access to the best works of art and have millions to gamble with.” The wider Mideast art scene is on the right track, with Qatar’s recent $250 million acquisition of a Cezanne painting. On the other hand, Mr Conner believes there is great potential for contemporary, living artists in the Middle East, too. “Given the current political strife and turmoil they live with day to day – people are experiencing war, death, repression and so forth – this can create some powerful and relevant works of art,” he said. The fabric of the region’s artwork is being woven to present an art market with a track record, depth and diversity. Mr Lawrie says there are at least five new galleries opening up in the Al Quoz area within the next six months to accommodate the flow of new artists that continue to emerge. Even specialized art insurers, including Zurich International, have set up shop in Dubai. “From Syria to Iran to Turkey, the art scene is burgeoning in this region and we tried to get here as quickly as possible,” said Jeremy Baggott, head of private clients in the Middle East for Zurich International, which opened an office in Dubai a year ago. “Combine that with high net worth individuals and you’ve got a market that we definitely want to be a part of.”
Inside the Lawrie Shabibi gallery in AlQuoz .
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Art SPECIAL REPORT
Art galleries at the Dubai International Financial Centre.
Dubai’s Art Neighbourhoods From the polished galleries of DIFC to the offbeat warehouses in Al Quoz, clusters of artsy areas are flourishing across the emirate. What differentiates these neighbourhoods?
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On the other side of town at House 11 in Bur Dubai’s old heritage quarter of Bastakiya, five international and local artists are creating commissioned works as part of Art Dubai and the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority’s ‘artist in residence’ program. Their work will be on display at the Sikka Art fair this month. Different strokes Despite an obvious distinction in terms of look and feel, how do potential buyers distinguish between the areas? “All carry a lot of weight in the art scene in the region,” says gallerist Claudia Cellini from The Third Line gallery in Al Quoz. “The visible difference is that Al Quoz is a destination for art collectors. DIFC caters more to one-off customers as well as the art aficionado.” Rami Farook, owner of Traffic Gallery, adds, “As an industrial area (Al Quoz) is more of a destination com-
photography courtesy of Omid Khadem
ou would be forgiven for thinking you are in New York’s artsy Williamsburg neighbourhood when you step into the Alserkal Avenue area in Al Quoz, lined with ten creative galleries and a private art museum. From white, open spaces to trendy loftstyle settings, the galleries are host to works by new regional artists and well-known ones from around the world. A handful of new galleries are set to open there in the next six months – simply because there’s demand for it. The same is true of the chichi art houses located on the ground floors of buildings in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Auction house Christie’s is barely keeping up with demand, with at least 20 percent growth in new clients each year and a record number of paintings selling for tens of millions of dollars.
Art SPECIAL REPORT
Image courtesy of Corbis / ArabianEye.com
...Al Quoz is a destination for art collectors. DIFC caters more to one-off customers as well as the art aficionado.
pared to DIFC that’s a live/ work/ entertain environment, so footfall differs and so does the ‘shopping’ experience.” He also says Al Quoz can be more attractive for some gallery owners because of “lower rent, higher ceilings, less beauracracy, a laid-back crowd and freedom from being part of a controlled environment.” When it comes to pricing of art, the pioneer behind Alserkal Avenue, Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, explains it has more to do with the types of artists a gallery represents rather than the location of the gallery itself. “Some galleries represent top international artists, some focus on regional established artists, some represent emerging artists. The price will vary accordingly.” The areas are undoubtedly spiritually linked and the key players in Dubai’s art scene show an unprecedented support and respect for their socalled ‘competitors’ – in fact there is a genuine desire to see each other do well. “The more galleries there are in Dubai, the better,” says Alserkal. Two galleries based in the avenue, Green Art Gallery and Isabelle Van Den Eynde, have been selected to participate at Art Basel Switzerland – a first for the region. “To witness such progress and see talent from the region be in the international spotlight is the most exciting thing for all us in Dubai who are passionate about art,” says Alserkal. The XVA Gallery recently opened a second space in DIFC after being one of the first ever gallery’s to open in Bastakiya. “For XVA, the move to DIFC seemed very natural and organic, as many of our clients are based here” says XVA’s Director Meagan Kelly Horsman. Mariam Hodge, Manager of Opera Gallery, echoes the sentiment, saying DIFC is a natural location for the prestigious international gallery since “art is also a financial investment for our clientele.”
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Untitled, by Ramin Haerizadeh, 2012, 25.5 x 36.5 cm, mixed media on paper, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde
Anthropometric Twin, by Iraqi artist Hayv Kahraman, 2011, 91.4 x 187.9 cm, courtesy of the artist and The Third Line Gallery
Happy Army, by Indonesia artist Eko Nugroho, 2011, 1500 x 1000 cm, acrylic on canvas, Lombard Freid Projects
A preview of must-see works at this yearâ€™s Art Dubai Modern Genealogy #2, by Algerian artist Kader Attia, 2011, 47 x 36 cm, collage, Galerie Krinzinger
Island, by Shezad Dawood, 2011, 210 x 150 cm, Acrylic and screen printing on vintage textile, Chemould Prescott Road. Untitled (Handcarved Car Tyre), by Flemmish artist Wim Delvoye, 2011, 68 x 13 cm, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen
Streets of the City, Edition of 6, by William Kentridge and Marguerite Stephens, 2009, 440 x 443 cm, tapestry, Goodman Gallery
Art SPECIAL REPORT
A Guide to
Buying Art The instability in the financial markets is encouraging investors to look for alternative methods of investment, making art an attractive choice. If you are considering buying art for profit or just pleasure, what should you look out for? Bahraini art collector and Director of Cuadro Fine Art Gallery, Bashar Al Shroogi, advises institutions and individual collectors. He shares his tips with GC. By Patricia Andrews
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
CALL IN THE EXPERTS
“Make sure you do your research and get your information validated by several sources,” says Al Shroogi. This can be done by attending industry events like art fairs, gallery openings, auctions, biennales, talks, etc. “Buy from reputable galleries, dealers and auction houses and make sure you are getting the right piece for the right price.”
“Always remember to look into how the artist is positioned before you buy. Find out who represents them, what public institutions buy their artwork and what future museum shows the artist will be included in.”
DEFINE A STRATEGY When purchasing art, you must have a clear strategy as you would with any other asset class. Set a budget and define an area of interest to establish a collecting strategy.This can be based on a region, medium, period etc.
BUY ART YOU ENJOY As eighteenth century French artist Edgar Degas said: “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Your collection says a lot about you so make sure your art reflects who you are as an individual. One of the most important factors when buying art is to make sure that you enjoy it, Al Shroogi advises. “Worst case scenario if you buy a work that does not appreciate in value as much as you would have liked, at least you can continue living with art you enjoy.”
Al Shroogi is a firm believer of hiring an expert that can help guide you through the process of buying art, but adds that there are some indicators in determining whether or not an artists work is going to increase in value.“Established art genres and established artists tend to hold value and appreciate gradually as opposed to emerging art and artists that can appreciate faster in the early stages.”
PLAN AN EXIT An important factor to consider when buying for an investment is ensure you have a clear exit strategy. “This will help steer what you buy. The composition of a five year portfolio will be very different from a 10 or 15 year portfolio,” says Al Shroogi. He warns though that art buyers should not look to exit immediately from any purchase. Buying art is generally looked upon as a longterm investment. “You should buy to hold for several years. Do not buy artwork and try to flip it in short periods of time.”
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Art SPECIAL REPORT
state of art Qatar’s ascent in the global art world
By matthew hamilton
signed by French architect Jean-Francois Bodin, has showcased regional contemporary artists and Qatari modernists as well as original works and installations by international artists albeit with a Qatari or Arab hue. For example, the Mathaf’s current ex-
oha has swiftly become one of the globe’s foremost art capitals, exhibiting leading contemporary artists - like the recently opened exhibit by Takashi Murakami - while promoting emerging Arab and Qatari artists. Unlike most cities in the Middle East, where private galleries take root, blossom, and foster a groundswell of arts appreciation (Dubai and Amman), Doha’s arts scene originates in the multiple world-class museums promoting different schools of art. Museum of Mordern Art Since its opening in 2010, the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, de-
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Doha’s arts scene originates in the multiple world-class museums promoting different schools of art. hibition “Saraab” (“Mirage”) by Cai Guo-Qiang takes its inspiration from the trade relationship between Qatar and China. In many of the 17 works comprising the show, which closes on May 26, the artist used Qatari houri boats and indigenous textiles. Another Mathaf exhibition entitled “Swalif: Qatari Art between Memory and Modernity,” was a group showing of Qatar’s twenty most prominent
The Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
artists. Wassan Al Khudairi, Director of the Mathaf, said she wanted visitors “to explore for themselves how artists in Qatar have responded to the tensions between nostalgia, memory and the search for an aesthetic identity.” Orientalist Museum No less integral to the archipelago of Doha’s museums has been the Orientalist Museum. Although presently closed to the public, the museum houses one of the largest collections of the Orientalist art, a diffuse movement inspired by the Western encounter with the Middle East and North Africa. The 900 works in the Orientalist Museum collection are periodically displayed in Doha and loaned to lead-
Art SPECIAL REPORT
The Museum of Islamic Art, designed by I.M. Pei, sits on a stand alone island to avoid encroachment on other buildings.
Image courtesy of Corbis / ArabianEye.com
ing international museums like the four lithographs by Marc Chagall currently being shown at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid until May 2012. The Jewel in the Crown Despite the flurry of development in the Doha museum scene, the jewel in the crown of Qatari museums remains the Museum of Islamic Art. The MIA, as it is called, is housed in a building designed by I.M. Pei, a commission which Pei has previously described as “one of the most difficult jobs which I ever undertook.” The modernist structure bears geometric patterns and subtle Arabic motifs culled from the architect’s travels across the Arab world. Inside, 3500 sqm of exhibition space join education, conservation, conference and dining areas, and the collection,
organised according to time period and region, comprehensively exhibits the breadth of Islamic art. The MIA’s sheer size also makes it a prime site to hold major art exhibitions, even if they don’t necessarily align with the aesthetic commitments of Islamic art. Murakami’s exhibition “Murakami – Ego” is now on display at Al Riwaq space. The same hall will host an exhibition of Damien Hirst’s work in 2013. There is more to come in Qatar. In December 2014, the National Museum of Qatar will reopen in a new complex designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. A photography museum designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, a National Library by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, and a Sports and Olympic museum are all at varying stages of development, with the latter coinciding with Doha’s 2022 World Cup games.
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Art SPECIAL REPORT
"Not everything can be accelerated, and I believe culture is one of these things."
Why Dubai? Shumon Basar, Director of Art Dubai’s Global Art Forum, discusses Dubai’s cultural evolution. by Kurt Parry
What makes Dubai such a unique cultural hub? It’s a cliche, but doesn’t stop it from being true: Dubai is a kind of common ground or valve where the wider region is able to present itself visibly and with a certain degree of equanimity with one another. Another cliche: this allows for conversations between different people and regions that wouldn’t necessarily be able to connect otherwise. It’s the same reasons that turned it into a mercantile hub for over a century now: geographic location and willingness to, in many ways, be a “state of exception.” Its mixed culture means it has a varied audience that 62 GC March / April 2012
demands different things. But I’d also argue that culture came into Dubai’s nation-building plans relatively late, but it seems to be thriving now. Has Dubai matured in terms of contemporary art appreciation? I think you’ll find that even in places like London and New York, contemporary art is relatively elitist, and where it isn’t, it has taken arguably decades for that to seep into the mainstream culture. I would say that Dubai is beginning to offer more and more interesting venues and possibilities for art appreciation - maturity on the other hand comes with time. Not everything can be accelerated, and I believe culture is one of these things.
Why is that? One speculative guess is the crash. Before the crash, Dubai was living in some fantasy version of the future and all that mattered was the biggest, the brashest, and the most expensive. Hopefully in the current climate, other criteria have become important in judging what makes a successful and interesting city. How has the perception of art changed in the region? There is a general understanding of the unique role art can play in presenting and comprehending the world as it was, as it is, as it might be. This is the art I am interested in: how my understanding of things can be expanded in unusual and innovative ways. Basar studied architecture at Cambridge University and the Architectural Association. He is co-director of curatorial/design group Newbetter, an editor at fashion/ culture quarterly Tank and co-founder of sexymachinery.
Hayv Kahraman, Anthropometric Side View, 2011, ink on paper mounted on wood, human hair and map pins, 101.5 x 101.5 cm
Abbas Akhavan Ala Ebtekar Amir H. Fallah Babak Golkar Ebtisam Abdulaziz Farhad Moshiri Fouad Elkoury Golnaz Fathi Hassan Hajjaj Hayv Kahraman Huda Lutfi Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige Lamya Gargash Laleh Khorramian Monir Shahroudy Famanfarmaian Pouran Jinchi Rana Begum Sherin Guirguis Shirin Aliabadi Slavs and Tatars Susan Hefuna Tarek Al-Ghoussein Youssef Nabil
The Third Line Al Quoz, PO Box 72036 Dubai, UAE T +971 4 3411367 F +971 4 3411369 www.thethirdline.com
Gizmos & Gadgets Bang & Olufsen TV The massive 103” BeoVision 4 TV is the ultimate in home entertainment systems. Just some of its amazing features: a motorized stand that lifts when the TV is turned on, Kaleidescape system that stores entire Blu-ray and DVD collections on a central server, and an iPad app that provides full control for your audio and video as well as other related systems in your house like the lights. It will retail for a whopping 580,000AED.
Lito Sora The Canadian designers of Lito Sora take on the “save fuel” slogan without compromising design, style or speed. The electric bike is quiet, clean and efficient. With the touch of a button the seat adjusts to different height positions, completely changing the driving dyamics. Priced at 165,000AED.
Yikebike Weighing just 10.8kg, the Yike Bike is the smallest folding electric bike in the world. With the ability to fold up or unfold in just 15 seconds and travel at 23km/ hr you will never have to worry about getting to that meeting across town again. Priced at 18,000AED.
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A conversation with
Richard Mille Richard Mille launched his eponymous company in 2001 and in just 11 years, has become the producer of the worldâ€™s most expensive timepieces. Inspired by the precision of the aviation and automobile industries, he utilizes high-tech mechanics, spending thousands of hours in developing watches that retail for up to a million dollars. By Natasha Tourish
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What inspired you to create your own brand? I started out with Mauboussin and became President and CEO of the watch and jewellery company. I wanted to do what I like, not for ego reasons but just to have the freedom to develop what I wanted and so I stopped everything to launch my own brand. My watches are a measure of all that I love: aircrafts and cars. How do you select your celebrity partners? Whether it’s Nadal or Felipe Massa, when they decided to be associated with my brand it’s not just to serve as brand ambassador but it’s to actually wear my watches while they are in the field. As a watchmaker you must be ready to go to the battle. Therefore my watches are extremely light, shock resistant, comfortable and easy to read the time. How has your business evolved over the last 11 years? My business model on paper looked like bankruptcy! Everybody thought that I would fail because I’m not a watchmaker and I wasn’t born in the 18th Century. When my first watch came out it was double the price of everything that already existed on the market, everybody said, “a brand coming from nowhere, a product that is extraordinary but so different from the culture and twice the price, it cannot succeed.” But in fact this difference made it a success. The most important thing was that I wasn’t looking for volume and still today the volume is small, nothing has changed.
Images courtesy of Richard Mille
How do you determine the cost of your watches? I think by far I am the most expensive brand in the world. This is due to the product development. When I decide upon the cost I’ll assess the level of difficulty that went into making the watch and I’ll decide on how many watches I’ll release, whether its 10, 20 or 50 models, that’s it. How long does it take to develop each piece? It depends on the level of difficulty. It could be anything from two to three years to six or seven years, which has been the longest. One of the models that I’ll launch this year for example is a watch that is totally transparent (RM 056). This is an idea that I had 15 years ago but at that time the technique didn’t allow me to do it. I refuse to put a time frame on it. From the beginning, I was ready to suffer delivery problems; I had anticipated that so I was never taken by surprise financially.
Will RM watches be a good investment in 50 years? Experts from Christies or Sotheby’s have told me that my watches have all the criteria for a good investment: quality, authenticity and rarity. You don’t find many Mille watches on the second hand market and this is a fantastic sign. However, from the small number I’ve seen, they’ve kept their value. Many of the people who bought my watches in the beginning didn’t lose any money when they sold them, although I did increase my prices a lot. For example, today the RM002 model costs $300,000, and when I launched it was $120,000. This is because the costs increased every year so the watch has suffered an increase in price. But any of the RM 002 in the second hand market could easily be sold for $150,000-$200,000, so it means that you can make a profit with this watch. How do you maintain the company’s pace of growth? The growth goes hand in hand with the difficulty of manufacturing my watches. I know more or less that I can sustain 10 to 20 percent growth each year without too much headache but over that it’s technically impossible unless I change my strategy, which I don’t want to do. My concept has remained the same, its based on three pillars; technique and innovation to push the limit of design, the best of artistic and architectural dimension that can reveal the technique and at the same time my vision of luxury is light weight, easy to wind, easy to read the time, basically the contrary of a bling bling watch. The third pillar is the best of the Swiss watch culture, at the minute everyone is trying to reduce the costs but I won’t compromise. Everything is still done by hand, regardless of the cost. It’s my legitimacy. Have most of your customers been unscathed by the financial crisis? These people are of a higher social status and they don’t have to justify themselves. They buy the watch and if nobody knows the brand they don’t give a dam! For me this corresponds exactly with my vision of high luxury, which is not the mass market. I don’t have that many clients but I do not wish to have that many clients, so that’s perfect. Richard Mille watches are sold at Ahmed Seddiqi stores in the UAE.
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Guided by the Sun A solar powered boat that could revolutionalise sea travel. By Marie Riot
he world’s largest solar boat, known as the Tûranor PlanetSolar, meaning ‘power of the sun,’ landed on the UAE’s shores during the World Future Energy Summit 2012. The massive vessel is the brainchild of Swiss engineer Raphaël Domjan, who wanted to travel the world on a boat propelled only by the sun, an ecological and technological feat never done before. Domjan was inspired by his travels to Iceland where he witnessed the melting of a huge glazier. “It disappeared in 11 years, so at this time, I decided that I could do something to protect the planet,” said Domjan. In 2008, ImmoSolar, a German company specialized in
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the management of solar and thermic energy, became the main partner to sponsor the $23 million project. It took 18 months and 64,000 hours for the 31 m-long and 6.1 m-high catamaran, designed by New Zeleander Craig Loomes, to be built in Germany. PlanetSolar consumes no fuel and produces zero emission of CO2. On board, the showers, lights, and fridges are all powered by solar energy. Only the kitchen stove operates with gas. The first journey around the world using solar energy started in the East and will finish in the West. The team departed on September 10, 2010, from Monaco, following a path close to the Equator. After crossing the Atlan-
The vessel docked in Abu Dhabi.
tic Ocean, the Panama Canal, Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Suez Canal and Mediterranean Sea, the ship is scheduled to reach Monte Carlo in May. On board, the crew of four commanders – Domjan, French captain/master Erwann Le Rouzic, French captain Patrick Marchesseau and German bosun Jens Langwasser – has been confronted with more practical challenges, namely the meteorological conditions and technical problems. In September 2011, for instance, the crew faced winds blowing up to 80 km per hour in Vietnam, and the captain decided to turn back and find refuge in the Mekong Delta. Domjan said the sailors faced a similar weather forecast when they approached Australia. The stop-overs along the way in places like Miami, Cancun, Brisbane, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi are more than pit stops for the crew to stretch their legs. They are occasions for Domjan and
Masdar CEO Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber and Jaber Al Suwaidi, General Director of the Crown Prince Court, visit the vessel.
PlanetSolar consumes no fuel and produces zero emission of CO2. On board, the showers, lights, and fridges are powered by solar energy. his team to meet the local communities and promote solar energy as well as clean mobility. They set up a “SolarVillage” (powered by solar panels) which is deployed near the boat to educate visitors and host cultural events, games, lectures, interactive exhibitions and film screenings. “I have a positive message and not an alarmist one. Once we’ve come to this assessment, we have to bring solutions. We have the energy as the sun gives us 1,000 trillion kW per day and humanity consumes 135 trillion kW in a year. There is a huge potential available. I am optimistic that we can make a change,” he said. As the financial sponsor of the project, Ströher will remain the owner of the boat for the completion of its world tour. Then, Domjan said, the catamaran will be turned into a solar yacht and either rented or sold for commercial use, proving that a solar motor vessel can have a commercial future. The future is bright for renewable energy. “If we can go around the world and cross so many oceans only using solar energy, it means that everybody can use renewable energy everyday at home,” says Domjan.
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The Key Ingredients How the Capital Club’s Executive Chef is taking private dining to a new level By Nausheen Noor
t’s 8 am and Chef Cyrille Troesch is already at the Capital Club inspecting his produce deliveries and discussing the day’s menu with his chefs. Though this may seem like a normal time to start the day, his doesn’t end until 11pm. Such is the dedication of the Capital Club’s new Executive Chef, tasked with revamping the club’s food and beverage outlets.
"The Dubai clientele is very sophisticated, you can’t fool them. Most of our members travel a lot and have eaten at some of the best restaurants in the world. We need to be able to cater to them."
photography courtesy of Omid Khadem
Chef Cyrille’s big culinary debut will be at the Club’s annual Anniversary Party, one of the most lavish events in the Dubai social calendar that typically draws in over 1,500 attendees. While club members and their guests can expect favorites from previous years such as the foie gras table and expansive raw bar – they can also anticipate some surprises. “There will be more French influence,” he says smiling. Influenced by having worked amongst luminaries such as Michel Roux at the Waterside Inn and Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir, both Michelin starred restaurants, Chef Cyrille believes in creating a place that is “more gastronomical,” while offering members “real value for
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Image courtesy of the Capital Club
money.” He has already elevated the menu, with the Club now serving live Canadian lobster for just 200 AED. On the 5th floor, a Caviar and Oyster Bar has been added with some of the best oysters from France and Beluga from Iran. In addition to serving an Executive Lunch with a menu that changes weekly, the club also has begun serving Indian vegetarian and non-vegetarian thali’s, and Arabic mezzes for the businessperson in need of a quick lunch. Chef Cyrille also has plans to introduce monthly events such as degustation menus with wine pairings from boutique vineyards. Hailing from Provence, where local and seasonal eating is a way of life, Chef Cyrille is faced with the challenge of ensuring a high quality cuisine whilst most of the ingredients need to be shipped in from abroad. “Strawberries that taste like cucumbers have no business here,” he added. The chef’s solution is to adhere to the European seasons, to source the best he can from the globe, and when he can, use local. Gulf fish, such as Sultan Ibrahim and Hammour feature prominently on the menu and he’s looking for a way to serve
Chef Cyrille has made it a policy that everything in the club is made from scratch
live Omani lobster. He has also risen to the challenge of eating locally in another very tangible way. Under Chef Cyrille’s aegis, he has made it a policy that everything in the club is made from scratch, in house. Everything from the bread to the sambousek. The reasoning for these changes is very simple, he explains. “The Dubai clientele is very sophisticated, you can’t fool them. Most of our members travel a lot and have eaten at some of the best restaurants in the world. We need to be able to cater to them.”
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More Than Just a Maid The Housekeeping Co offers five star residential staff services to VIP clients
Image courtesy of Corbis / ArabianEye.com
By Natasha tourish
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aving domestic staff is an easily accessible luxury for expats living in the UAE. But lack of training and language barriers can result in a disgruntled maid and an even more disgruntled lady or gentleman of the house. Scottish native, Denise McGinty, owner of the Housekeeping Co, a Dubai based company, offers ‘five star’ executive cleaning services to high net worth clients. “We turn maids into housekeepers,” explained McGinty. The Housekeeping Co pride themselves on being able to assess the needs of a client before matching them up with one of their team who has a Denise McGinty (centre) uses her similar personality. background in hospitality to train her “We differ to other team of butlers and housekeepers cleaning companies because when you call up, you get to speak to me directly so there is no confusion. I will then go to a client’s house and meet with them to assess their needs before placing one of our staff with them,” said McGinty. This personalized service, which offers clients more than just cleaning is the key to tapping into a niche market. “Many of our clients have different homes around the world so they need different wardrobes depending on which city they are in. We help to pack, unpack and organize wardrobes so that their case is ready for whenever they need to travel.” A degree in hotel management enables McGinty to provide top notch hotel style service in people’s homes. Training is an important part of her business, aside from putting her maids through an intensive three month training programme; teaching them everything from using chemicals to basic language skills and cleaning terminology, she also offers her own expertise to clients who want to have their current household staff trained to a higher standard.
The majority of the company’s clients are VIP’s and includes members of the royal family. She therefore adheres to strict confidentially clauses and encourages her maids to respect privacy “as they are touching the heart and soul of family life.” “If someone is having a dinner or a family wedding for example, they will ask me to come into their homes over three days to train their household staff. It could be as simple as showing them how to greet guests at the door or how to serve food properly and how to set a table.” In instances where clients are unhappy with their current staff, Denise can provide a Butler whose role is to take charge of managing the household and other staff. These Butlers earn up to 60,000 AED per month so their job goes above and beyond cleaning services. “Our butlers are all ex-army and run a very upper class household similar to those in the UK or Europe. I bring them in from overseas to fit inline with the clients brief. It’s a very personalized and on demand service.” Having formerly worked in real estate investments and property management, Denise says that she used to outsource the cleaning services of her properties to a third party but always found the service ‘unsatisfactory,’ so when the market conditions changed after the financial crisis, she decided to move in on ‘a gap in the market’ for a more efficient and personalized cleaning service. Word of mouth plays an integral part in promoting McGinty’s business but she encourages potential clients to call her up to enquire about any of her services whether it’s for cleaning, household management or providing long term butler services. www.housekeepingco.com
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The cuisine of the
Old Istanbul has many new culinary delights to offer
Image courtesy of Corbis / ArabianEye.com
By Nausheen Noor
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n recent years, Turks have been gripped with Ottomania, a longing for the cultural splendor of the Ottoman Empire, when sultans ruled an empire stretching from the Balkans to the Indian Ocean and claimed the spiritual leadership of the Muslim world. Members of the new governing class of religious Muslims have embraced this nostalgia as a challenge to the pro-Western elite that emerged during Ataturk’s rule. This cultural rediscovery of Turkish history has also helped the country position itself as a leader in the Middle East. A “zero-problems” regional foreign policy has committed Turkey to resolve conflicts with its Arab and Muslim neighbours. Turkey has even done away with visa requirements for visitors from Arab countries, promoting regional tourism. Some are dubbing this far-reaching influence the “New Ottoman Em-
pire.” The current vogue of all things Ottoman also applies to a slew of new restaurants that have been opening up in Istanbul which showcase traditional, empire-era fare. It is also reflective of the global trend of eating local, organic and seasonal as well as food archaeology, the practice of reviving historical recipes that have fallen out of favour. The rich ethnic tapestry of the Ottoman Empire offers a cuisine with many diverse influences and layers of flavours. This is largely due to the fact that, at its peak, the Ottoman Empire covered vast territories and comprised many ethnic groups. Along with Greeks, Armenians, Kurds, and Jews, there were also numerous lesser-known minority groups such as the Circassians, Turkmen and Assyrians. Centuries of history matched with modern cooking techniques resulted in dining experiences that are so dazzling; only a sultan himself should enjoy them.
Istanbul's top ottoman style eats:
Asitane specializes in Ottoman court recipes, which were closely guarded secrets privy only to the palace cooking guilds and passed on by word of mouth. The chefs at Asitane have succeeded in recreating these dishes after studying the archives of meals and celebrations held at Topkapı and Dolmabahçe Palaces.
Ciya is the brainchild of one very dedicated chef, Musa Dagdeviren. He revives old Anatolian recipes, scours the countryside for unusual vegetables, and likes to highlight what he calls “peasant food.” The daily specials are displayed upon entry in vast simmering pots.
Kariye Camii Sokak No: 6 34240 Edirnekapi +90 212 635 7997
Guneslibahce Sokak 43, Kadikoy +90 216 330 3190
Armaggan, Nuruosmaniye Caddesi No.65, 5th Floor, +90 212 522 2800
Located by the Grand Bazaar inside luxury retailer Armaggan, Nar Lokanta, serves everything from Ottoman palace dishes to humble village fare, showcasing regional produce from Anatolia. The restaurant’s extensive wine list exclusively features Turkish wines, including a number of bottles from boutique vineyards.
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Bespoke Shoes Traditional craftsmanship in the heart of DIFC
man and Compagnon in the DIFC store. He started his apprentice at the age of 16 and gained experience throughout France before being recruited by owner Sibylle Arnold and her banker husband to come to Dubai. Papin now trains his own apprentice in the store’s workshop. The store itself has a luxurious feel to it with dark wood shelving and well-appointed leather seating and dark green walls, somewhat reminiscent of a gentleman’s cigar lounge. The Cobbler’s own brand ready to wear shoes are all formal business shoes starting from 1,095 AED and are specially manufactured in Northampton, England. “The home of classic English design and craftsmanship” according to Sybille but the actual company who make them remains a close guarded secret.“Otherwise peo-
photography courtesy of Omid Khadem
Sibylle Arnold, owner of The Cobbler.
t’s not often that you find a bespoke shoemaker in the UAE that practices traditional craftsmanship in the store itself. That was the rational for opening The Cobbler- a flagship store in the DIFC owned by a French husband and wife team. The Cobbler takes the notion of shoe repair to a new level of sophistication. They offer bespoke services; including a ready to wear collection, traditional shoe repair and shoe shine. However, the hallmark of this store is that all bespoke shoes and indeed repairs are crafted onsite by a master cobbler who trained at the Compagnons du Tour de France- a French organization of craftsmen and artisans dating back to the Middle Ages who are still active today. Morgan Papin is the resident crafts-
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ple could simply go online and purchase them for themselves,” she explained. To add to the store’s grandeur, all of the shoes are displayed on a pool table. The bespoke shoes start at 10,000 AED and are handmade in-house. However, the traditional last- the customized wooden mould that the shoe is made around, is outsourced to France using a drawing of the clients foot measurements. The whole process takes six months and involves at least three fittings with the client before the last is made and then returned to Papin to carry out the craftsmanship in store. If you decide on a bespoke pair, “your shoes can last you a lifetime,” states Sybille. “They could even be passed on to a new generation if they fitted.” Plans are already in place to open a second Cobbler store early next year.
Tips from The Cobbler Never wear the same pair two days in a row. Allow them rest to get rid of the creases. Use shoe trees inside your shoes to keep the shape and absorb humidity. Nourish your shoes by polishing them regularly. Master cobbler Morgan Papin
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Fashion on the Field
With the Dubai World Cup drawing near, we round up this season’s finest trends to don at the world’s richest sports race.
ur Show yo e id creative s r u with colo
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Images courtesy of Getty Images
or a fun yet elegant style, opt for a patterned suit combo from Giorgio Armani or a checked jacket from Michael Bastian. If you want to be trendy, but don’t want to stand out from the crowd too much, choose a suit with a bold print against pastel or neutral colours. Simon Lock, judge at this year’s Jaguar Style Stake’s competition stresses that it is important to feel comfortable in what you wear. “Dress for yourself and don’t be dictated by fashion...wear things that suit your physique and are appropriate for the racing occasion.”
Those who prefer a more casual look can pair a blazer with polo and chinos, looking relaxed and polished at the same time.
onning a classic morning suit is a win win choice. Opt for a custom made tailored suit from Logsdail London’s Dubai store in Al Quoz. The company will tailor suits for the individual male seeking a formal racing look. “The Dubai Royal family will be present at the event so it’s only right that men should dress appropriately.” says Simon Parton, of Logsdail. He added, “Sheikh Mohammad dresses in morning attire when he attends the royal enclosure at Ascot, so I think it’s respectful to dress formally and for men to make an effort to stand out a little.” Parton advises gents to co-ordinate outfits as best as possible. “Always wear a waist coat with your morning coat... black shoes and always a tie.”
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Published on Feb 29, 2012
Special report on the people shaping the art world in the Middle East. Global Citizen Magazine is a bi-monthly publication with unique blend...